As fears of the Zika virus continue to spread across the United States, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority issued a task order for vaccine development through Baltimore's Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing.

The facility, owned by Gaithersburg, Maryland-based drug developer Emergent Biosolutions, will receive just under $18 million over the next two and a half years to design an effective countermeasure for the virus and mass-produce doses of the vaccine. The order authorized an additional four million dollars to be granted as needed.

Four years ago, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (an office held under Health and Human Services) began funding the CIADM program as a means of coordinating the work of research universities, tech innovators, and multinational pharmaceutical corporations to protect the nation in the event of an unexpected pandemic.

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